How Much do Medical Coders Make?

Medical billing and coding is a field that provides excellent career development opportunities, as well as flexibility. Medical billers and coders are hired by a vast range of organisations in the healthcare field, as well as by insurance companies. The need for such professionals is expected to increase in the years to come and this higher demand will also have an impact on medical coder salaries.

Medical Coder Salaries in the US

A medical coder in theUnited States will typically be hired on a part-time basis. Some professionals do find full-time employment opportunities and they earn a median annual salary of 37,969 dollars, PayScale.com reports.

More experienced medical coders will have salaries of up to 50,609 dollars per year. The national average is 35,000 dollars. Mid-career coders can expect to earn 11 per cent more than the national average and people who are already in their late career – 26 per cent more.

In terms of hourly payments, the national median is 16 dollars. The maximum hourly rate is 23.22 dollars per hour and overtime work is compensated at 36.56 dollars per hour.

Medical Coder Salaries in Canada

The situation in Canada is quite similar, PayScale.com data suggests. Medical coding professionals that have one to four years of experience can expect to earn a median annual salary of 35,000 Canadian dollars. Professionals that have five or more years of experience earn a median annual salary of 36,493 dollars per year.

The median hourly payment for professionals that have one to five years of experience is 15.26 Canadian dollars. Medical coders that have five to nine years of experience can expect to earn 16 dollars per hour and those having 20 years of experience or more – 18.18 Canadian dollars per hour.

Salary Differences by Industry

The place of employment is one of the factors that have a profound impact on the medical coder salary.

Medical coders that work for governmental institutions are among the best-paid in the country, the Bureau of Labour Statistics (BLS) reports. These medical coders earn an average of 46,290 dollars per year.

The insurance industry is another excellent employer. Medical coders hired by insurance companies make an average of 44,110 dollars per year. The medical coders employed by hospitals earn 37,960 dollars and the ones working in physician offices earn the lowest salaries of 30,120 dollars.

Salary Differences by Region

Medical coder salaries differ greatly from one state to another.

New Jersey features the highest medical coder salaries. The state average is 51, 850 dollars and some of the most experienced coders earn an average of 73,100 dollars per year.Hawaii comes in second. The average salary in the state is 42,290 dollars with the best professionals in the field earning up to 61,830 dollars.Massachusetts follows with 41,700 dollars per year.

Some of the lowest medical coder salary averages are inMississippi (27,580 dollars per year),West Virginia (30,290 dollars per year) andUtah (30,810 dollars per year).

InCanada, medical coders that work inOntario can expect the highest average. The average hourly payment there is 19.50 Canadian dollars.British Columbia follows with 16.80 dollars per hour and the average inAlberta is 16.25 dollars per hour.

Career Outlook

According to the Bureau of Labour Statistics, there are currently 184,740 people working as medical coders and medical records technicians in theUS. The growth in demand for such professionals in the period until 2022 will be 22 per cent, which is much higher than the national average for all occupations.

The percentage translates to 41,100 new workplaces that will become available to medical coders in the years to come.

Currently, there’s a shortage in experienced medical coders due to the federal adoption of new coding standards. TheUS went from ICD-9 to ICD-10 codes and the methodology was entirely transformed. Medical coders that are familiar and experienced in working with ICD-10 codes have a competitive advantage and great opportunities for finding an attractive job.

According to reports that were published in the beginning of 2015, the change in methodology has also led to an increase in the medical coder salaries. In 2014, medical coder salaries went up 8.4 per cent. In 2015 and 2016, coders that have experience in the new standard can expect to see even further salary increase.

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